Yikes! Apparently A Third of Women Have Dated Men Just for the Free Food.

a dinner plate featuring steak, lobster, asparagus, and micro greens
Image by bloomsburys / CC BY

As I wrote in the last installment of this series, science’s role is to test hypotheses and uncover the truth. Sometimes this uncovered truth is surprising. Other times it’s a big duh, “Well thanks for the info, Captain Obvious” kind of moment.

Frankly, reality doesn’t care as much about our biases as we do.

Today’s study is one that frankly shocked me to pieces. A recent study found that about a third of women have gone on a date with a guy solely to get free food.

Apparently this behavior is common enough that it has its own clever name: A foodie call. Named to be reminiscent of the term “booty call” (calling someone up to meet solely for the purpose of having sex), a foodie call occurs when someone chooses to go on a date with someone else in order to get a free meal even though they don’t have a romantic attraction to them or any romantic interest in them.

And it is way more common for women to do this than I would have previously guessed. Part of this is that when I’ve typically dated men in the past, I’ve usually gone dutch with them or traded paying for dates until we got serious enough that our money was combined. Especially the first few dates, I’ve always expected to pay for my own meal. And I was shocked to learn that a lot of other people carry different expectations about paying for dates. I’ve spoken to multiple women who have told me that if a male date doesn’t at least offer to pick up a meal on the first date that there won’t be another.

Well, alrighty then.

Still, I didn’t expect something like foodie calls to be so common.

What Predisposes Someone to Making A Lot of Foodie Calls?

It led me to wonder: What predisposes someone to making a lot of foodie calls? Thankfully, the study provided some insight into this exact question.

The research found that the following made someone more likely to go on dates just to get free food:

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This post is part of an ongoing Poly Land feature called Psyched for the Weekend, in which I geek out with brief takes about some of my favorite psychological studies and concepts. For the entire series, please see this link.

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Books by Page Turner:

Dealing with Difficult Metamours

A Geek’s Guide to Unicorn Ranching

Poly Land: My Brutally Honest Adventures in Polyamory 

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